I feel like a minuscule upstart in their presence.


Studies of coastal forests like this one reveal that exposure to wind is what most determines the age of trees. Whereas spruce trees in vulnerable stands live an average of two hundred years, those in sheltered, fertile areas like the Deer Meadow valley can live eight or nine hundred years. Yellow cedars, which are better able to resist wind, commonly survive for a thousand years. […]

Only a few raindrops and oversized snowflakes sift through the crown of trees as a squall passes over.  I’m grateful for the shelter, and I sense a deeper kind of comfort here.  These are living things I move among, immeasurably older and larger and more deeply affixed to their place on earth than I am, and imbued with vast experience of a kind entirely beyond my comprehension. I feel like a minuscule upstart in their presence, a supplicant awaiting the quiet counsel of venerable trees.

~ Richard Nelson, The Island Within


  • Photograph of 800 year Yellow Cedar Tree in Cypress Provincial Park in British Columbia: Mick
  • Related Posts on Live & Learn: Richard Nelson


  1. “…asupplicant awaiting the quiet counsel of venerable trees.” LOVE. What an incredible thing to ponder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. I’m 1/4 of the way through this book. Jim Harrison has quote on cover which captures it:

      “On the borders of consciousness as in Matthiessen and Lopez…a holy book…a text to help us understand ourselves within the nature world.”


  2. This breathtaking humility…this awe…it is due so much around us, from the smallest grain of sand to the stoicism of the tallest redwood. WLS – where’s the ‘love’ button?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Majestic.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing and really sets one’s perspective! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. humbling –

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s hard to get a photo of the whole thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. perspective….

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautifully expressed..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I live in the great Pacific Northwest, close to Forks Rain Forest, Olympic National park, these big trees are a huge part of my life. Love your post!


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